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Monthly Meeting Recap – 5/12/13

Robot Show & Tell:

  • Dan Toborowski demonstrated the combat arena lighting and match timer system he built for the Bot Brawl. The setup uses two 32X16 LED dot matrix displays from Freetronics mounted on a MicroRax enclosure for the timer display, an Arduino Mega, and 8 LED light strips. Dan also brought two 1lb Antweight combat robots that he helped build one of which was built with 3D printed parts made on his Afinia H-Series printer and the other with polycarbonate frame members cut using a PROBOTIX CNC router.
  • Brian Oleson brought the Pololu Zumo sumo robot kit and Zagros Robotics Magican robot chassis which he won at the Bot Brawl.
  • Joshua Whitley demonstrated ROS running on a BeagleBoard with a USB webcam. Josh pointed out the resource limitations experienced when using vision and explained that for our RoboMagellan project we may need to run separate boards to relinquish visual cone detection to its own board.
  • Curt Boirum brought his unique line follower robot he’s been working on which is designed to look like the upper torso of a Terminator robot and will crawl along the ground with its arms to follow the line. Curt also brought his 3lb combat robot Buzzkiller which took first place at the Bot Brawl and his 1lb robot Buzzsaw which took 2nd. Curt pointed out a few of the upgrades he made to the robots which included stronger drivetrain components which were custom 3D printed. Lastly, Curt showed a video of a robotic snake built by the CMU biorobotics lab which he recently visited.
  • Peter Campbell brought an automatic soap dispenser he recently purchased which utilizes infrared sensors to detect the presence of the user hand and activates an electric pump to dispense the soap. Peter also mentioned that he’s been on the lookout for a new CAD package and has been looking at GeoMagic Design Personal which is offered by the original developers of Alibre but targeted specifically at the hobbyist user.


  • Next monthly meeting is June 9th
  • RobotShop 5% discount has been reactivated and is available for any club members’ use. Contact to obtain code.
  • RoboGames, the largest robotics competition in the world, has officially been retired. There are discussions underway about a Chicago-area event intended to provide a new home for many of the competitions which took place at Robogames. More information will be made available as we learn more.

Upcoming Events:

Event Recap:

  • 2013 Central Illinois Bot Brawl – 4/13/13
    • Pictures, results, and videos posted here

Club Business:

  • Community Event Opportunities
    • Great Burr Oak Science Club Meeting – Saturday, May 25th 6:00PM
      • CIRC to present along with other local science organizations
      • Request a 15 minute presentation focused on specific topic along with brief overview of club
      • Location – Speakeasy Art Center (353 Court St. Pekin, IL)
      • Dan & Curt plan to attend, other welcome to join
    • HOI Fair Invitation – July 12th-20th
      • CIRC invited to display at Heart of Illinois Fair in air-conditioned Opera House on any day of fair
  • Club Donations
    • Previous club member who lives in Gurnee, IL has offered to donate 4’X4’X2′ combat robot test chamber, anyone able to pick up from member?
    • Peter will setup a new feature on website to allow for donations to club through paypal
  • Non-Profit Status:
    • CIRC does not qualify as type of organization that is eligible for tax-deductible federal status
    • Decided not to pursue federal non-profit status at this time
  • Bot Brawl Recap:
    • ROBOT Magazine Article
      • Brian Oleson is working on drafting article for future issue
    • Open discussion for feedback on what went well, what didn’t, room for improvement for next year’s event…
  • RoboMagellan:
    • V3 Chassis Redesign Update (Dan discussed planned changes for weight reduction and improved performance)
    • Joshua Whitley will provide a Linux and ROS “crash course” for RoboMagellan team members
    • Josh described basic overview of ROS software subsystems and group discussed strategy moving forward

May 12, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Monthly Meeting Recaps | No comment

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